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Thread: Art Clay copper....torch firing

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Cheshire
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    Hi Ann

    I am a PMC tutor and also have Art Clay Level 1 certification. When I'm teaching I do tell my students about torch firing versus kiln firing. On the intro class we torch fire pieces so that students can see how it's done because its the way most people start (especially given the cost of a kiln!), but as the others have said, kiln firing longer and hotter than the instructions state gives you a stronger finished piece.

    For me PMC is a lot softer than Art Clay, yes you can condition Art Clay with water to soften it but thats an extra thing to do - I'd rather get on with making!! I also find PMC has more elasticity which I prefer. I think using a pack of each brand and seeing which you prefer is definitely the way to go - Coke & Pepsi!!

    HTH

    Becci

  2. #22
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    Aug 2009
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    North Wales
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverPlayer View Post
    Hi Ann,

    You're right.. these ideas should be relayed to students in classrooms!

    As mentioned before, I have both of Kate's metal clay (MC) books, and they have completely changed the way I use/handle metal clay.. and it should be a book that all resellers of metal clays should have in stock.

    I already had a kiln, as I make rings with MC, so I was used to firing at 1650 deg F for 2 hours. What blew me away was that she could create these amazing structural, stable, professional-looking pieces, with a full 2-hour kiln firing, no need for filing, excessive sanding and just a wash of water for joining dry-built pieces together. But once she'd explained the 'science' behind what she does and why.. it all makes perfect sense (in particular, the bit about work-hardening the metal afterwards).

    I have used both Art Clay (Slow Dry) Silver Clay and PMC3. I found PMC3 smoother, softer and easier to work with. Kate's method of storing unused clay (as opposed to cling film as I was taught) is just inspired and has definitely allowed me to work for much longer time periods, without having to resort to rehydrating the metal clay.

    Students should have the right to this information, so that they can make informed choices as to how they use this medium safely and effectively to produce stable, durable and professional-looking pieces in metal.

    In the next week or so, Kate's launching a new website called 'A Workshop in Fine Silver' to accompany the 4-hour DVD set she's bringing out. The website will be a resource centre with photos, videos, demos and an 'Ask Kate' section where to the best of her knowledge, she will answer questions and help provide solutions to people's metal clay problems .... all for free!
    Thankyou Vi. and Becci for your replies.

    Vi. I am pleased someone feels as strongly as I do about this knowledge being imparted to the students in the classroom, and thankyou for the info. about Kate's new website I will looking out for that.

    Becci. I will definately try out PMC, I really don't know why I havn't before now.

    Ann

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Gravesend, Kent, United Kingdom
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    165

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverPlayer View Post
    Kate's method of storing unused clay (as opposed to cling film as I was taught) is just inspired and has definitely allowed me to work for much longer time periods, without having to resort to rehydrating the metal clay.
    I've always been told cling film too. What's her way?

  4. #24
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    North Wales
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    She rolls the clay in her hands to make a smooth ball and puts it in a little plastic container, the type that acrylic paints come in, she say's that the clay keeps workable for longer.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London
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    Kate's technique involves quickly rolling the clay with very very lightly oiled hands (I just use olive oil, as I use it for cooking anyway and it works) between both hands until you have a perfectly round ball with no cracks, making sure that you apply pressure with both your palms whilst you're rolling, and then placing the ball into one of those small 10ml plastic see-through containers with the hinged snap-on lids. I got mine from PAJED for about 24p each, but you may be able to get them cheaper elsewhere. The containers are small enough to hold 25g of metal clay and are airtight so the clay stays fresher for longer.

    The key thing is being quick, and applying enough pressure so that the surface of the ball is round and continuous with no cracks where air can get in and dry it out.

  6. #26
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    Mar 2010
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    Gravesend, Kent, United Kingdom
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    cheers guys

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    4

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    This is all fantastic information, I have just started using copper clay, but had some trouble torch firing it, no probs with silver art clay, but now armed with lots of info to go and try again. thanks, these forums are essential.

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